Succession planning starts the moment you become an owner. It does not start the moment you decide that you want to sell. By starting early you maximise your opportunities in terms of options both internally and externally.
Understand the perception of value
Value means different things to different people. Understanding what you want from the deal is key whether it is goodwill, avoiding run off cover, getting work-in-progress paid, securing income for a period of time post sale, or working as part of a bigger organisation to unlock greater value in the long term.
Get your business in "ship-shape"
The perception of value can often be chipped if a business is not in a good shape. This means dealing with dilapidation issues, bad debt problems, old work-in-progress etc. Buyers are attracted to well run business that are profitable but also have the opportunity to increase profitability in the future. This also makes the whole due diligence process a lot easier for all parties